How to start a podcast and make money from it

If you have interesting content you want to share but are not keen on writing, then podcasting will be perfect for you. Podcasts are a convenient way to create original content like talk shows and narrative stories from the comfort of your home and share them with listeners from all over the world. 

There has been a surge in the popularity of podcasts in recent years, and podcasters have benefited tremendously from it. If you’re interested in creating a podcast and making money from it, then this article is for you, as I’ll highlight all you need to know. 

What is a podcast? 

A podcast is a recording of an audio discussion about a story or a particular topic that can be assessed online by an audience through audit content applications like iTunes and Spotify, or on the podcaster’s website. 

By starting a podcast, you can share stories with a wide audience. As long as you have a strong personality and good storytelling skills, paired with interesting content, you’ll garner plenty of listeners. 

How to start a podcast 

1. Identify your niche

Once you’ve decided to start a podcast, decide on the niche you will cater to, as it will be the basis of all the decisions you will make. The niche you choose must be something you are passionate about and knowledgeable in.

You must be truly interested in the topic to be able to share it with others in an interesting way,  and although you don’t have to be an expert in the topic you choose, you should have a deep knowledge of it. 

2. Choose a title

Before even listening to your podcast, your title is what your audience will notice first, so make sure it is captivating. The best podcast titles are short but descriptive.

Your title should relate to the content of your podcast, and it should be able to captivate your audience at first glance. It should also be unique and easy to search online so that your audience can easily find you. 

3. Research and plan

Before you start recording your first podcast, you should conduct thorough research on your niche. Understand your audience so that you can create a podcast that resonates with them. Analyze the competition and find out what popular podcasters in your niche are doing. Then use this information to find your unique angle and come up with a plan for your content. 

You should decide on a format from the get-go so that you can maintain consistency. Your audience will not take you seriously if the format of your podcast keeps changing, which is why it is important to decide on a format from the beginning and stick to it throughout.

In the plan for your format, include the length and structure of each podcast, and how often you will be publishing. When choosing your format, consider your budget and the time you can allocate to your podcast. Your niche and target audience will also influence the format of your podcast. Depending on the message you want to send, your podcast can take whatever format you like. 

4. Acquire quality equipment

To deliver the best content to your viewers, investing in quality equipment is a must. You will need a good quality microphone, headphones, PC/laptop, and recording software to ensure your episodes sound professional.

You can borrow or rent these equipment, or buy them if you have enough funds. For best results, try to find a dedicated recording space to avoid background noise and distractions. 

5. Create quality content 

To attract and retain listeners your content must be of top quality. Make sure each episode you record gives value to your listeners and is engaging so they will keep coming for more. Remain consistent so your audience always knows now what to expect, and plan each episode well.

Depending on the structure of your podcast, you may decide to write a script and make a detailed plan beforehand, or improvise your content as you record. For instance, if you’re going to invite a guest for a discussion, there is no way you can plan to the last detail, you must go with the flow if you want to maintain authenticity. 

After recording, it is extremely important to edit your content. If possible, hire a professional to do it for you. Adjust the volume, add background music, cut- out necessary clips, and thoroughly edit your content to improve its quality. 

6. Develop your brand 

Your brand is your identity so it has to be easily recognizable and memorable. It includes everything including your podcast name, logo, and cover art. It must be catchy, reflect your mission and resonate with your viewers. 

It is important to develop your brand well, so if possible reach out to professionals to develop your logo and cover art for you. Your podcast name should be original, but it is still advisable for you to run it through a professional and get feedback from others. 

7. Host and distribute your work

You need a platform to share your podcasts with the world, and there are several available options. The most popular include iTunes and Spotify. There are several other platforms you could use, so research them and find the one that best suits your needs.

You will first have to create an account, then use the instructions on the hosting service’s Help page to find instructions on how to access an RSS Feed URL. Using the RSS Feed URL, you can submit your podcast for validation, and once it is approved, your podcast will be published. 

As you grow, you can keep track of your subscribers and analyse the engagement with listeners. 

How to promote your podcast

1. Create a website

Creating a creative website for your podcast will help increase the visibility of your podcast. It makes it easier for listeners to find you online since your podcast will show up in internet searches. It also makes it easier for your podcast to be shared with others through links. 

2. Advertise on social media 

Leverage social media to make your podcast more widely known. You can share links to your podcast on your social media account and tell family and friends to do the same. You can also pay for advertisements on social media to increase your popularity. 

3. Engage with your audience

Every single member of your audience is important, and you should develop a good relationship with them. Constantly encourage them to share their feedback and reply when they do. If possible, directly reach out to them to ask for their opinions and feelings about your podcast.

Try every means to retain every subscriber that you have, and encourage them to spread the word about you. 

4. Share transcripts

One way to increase your traffic and popularity is to transcribe your podcast to written form and post it along with your podcast online. This will make it easier for your podcast to show up in search results for related key keywords, and reach a wider audience.

Your listeners will be able to find you easier, and it makes your podcast accessible to those who prefer to read. 

5. Record trailers 

Trailers and snapshots into your next episode will keep your listeners excited for what is to come. It will also help you attract more listeners and increase the popularity of your podcast.

You can record short clips of your next episode and post them on social media or at the end of each episode. 

How to make money from your podcast

1. Sponsorships and advertisements

Once you’ve garnered a wide audience, then businesses and brand brands start reaching out to you for endorsements.

Even if they do not contact you, reach out to companies within your niche and secure a sponsorship or advertising deal. This will help you generate income from your podcast. 

2. Donations from listeners

The most straightforward way to make money from your podcast is to ask directly for donations from your listeners. If you have dedicated and supportive listeners they can voluntarily support your podcast. 

3. Merchandise sales

One great way of making money from your podcast is to design and sell merchandise related to your podcast. These could be branded T-shirts, mugs, pens, notebooks, etc.

Each time you sell merchandise, you not only make money but benefit from free advertisement too. Anytime someone wears a T-shirt or uses a mug with your logo on it, they unknowingly advertise your podcast. 

4. Affiliate marketing

With affiliate marketing, you can run adverts on your podcasts and earn a commission for each sale that you make. Reach out to companies in your niche and get affiliate links.

You can post these links on your website and earn a commission each time someone clicks on the link or buys a product through your link. 

5. Premium content and paid membership tiers

As you gather dedicated listeners, you can begin to offer exclusive content, bonus episodes, or ad-free versions of your podcast through a subscription model. If they already like your content, they’ll be willing to pay for better content. 

When you make your listeners pay for your content, ensure that it will be worth their money. Nothing will drive your subscribers away faster than you exploiting them. You have to give them something unique that you’ve never given them before and ensure that it will resonate with them. 

Conclusion

Having a podcast means you can share interesting stories and your passion for a particular topic with so many people and earn money while doing it. You may not be able to make money immediately after you start, but as you continue to post interesting content and attract listeners, your earning potential will skyrocket. 

The key to making money with your podcast is to maximise the value of each of your subscribers. Build trust and a deep connection between you and your listeners, and increase the earning potential from each. 

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Habibat Musa

Habibat Musa

Habibat Musa is a content writer with MakeMoney.ng. She writes predominantly on topics related to education, career and business. She is an English language major with keen interest in career growth and development.

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